Homemade Stovetop Popcorn

Welcome back friends! Who wants some fresh stovetop popcorn to enjoy on one (or more) of these beautiful autumn nights? Maybe cuddled under a blanket, while watching a good movie? I know I do, so let’s pop some!

HOMEMADE STOVETOP POPCORN
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of popcorn kernels
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon of popcorn salt
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. To create popcorn salt, grind it into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or run 1/2 cup of salt in the food processor until fine.
  2. Place the olive oil and popcorn kernels in a large lightweight pot, then gently shake the pot to distribute the kernels over the bottom of the pan and evenly coat the kernels with oil.
  3. Place the pot on medium heat (or slightly lower depending on the power of your stovetop) and put the the lid on. The kernels will begin popping in about a minute or so and you may need to hold the lid on using the safety handle.
  4. Shake the pot briefly every 30 seconds or so. When the popping stops, immediately pour the popcorn in to a large bowl. You may want to have a bowl set aside to pour excess popcorn into as you go if your pot turns out to be too small.
  5. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave, then pour it over the popcorn and sprinkle the salt, shaking well to toss and disperse.
  6. Enjoy!

*This popcorn may look a little dark, but the kernels were toasted in the pan before popping, I did not taste any burnt flavor.

Family Friendly Autumnal Activity Ideas

Welcome back Autumn! Every year I look forward to the Autumn and the warmth it generates inside my home and soul. Where I live, September and October are still rather warm on some days, and turn wet and cold as the months progress toward Winter.  I cannot get enough of the rain this time of year. The cold, wet weather begins to take over outside, driving us all inside to be together and warm. There’s nothing like cuddling up with people you love, reading a good book, watching a movie or playing a video game while the weather misbehaves outside.

I intend to spend a lot of time with my family this year and came up with some family friendly ideas I’d like to experience with Zoey! Follow along and try some of these activities for yourself, this is a time we should all enjoy!

We intend to:

  • Bake bread.
  • Bake cookies for family and/or friends.
  • Collect acorns and make art.
  • Collect leaves and make art.
  • Collect rocks and make art.
  • Make nature pressings or rubbings.
  • Donate to a food bank.
  • Go on a hayride.
  • Go puddling in the rain.
  • Have an indoor picnic on a stormy day.
  • Make a bird feeder.
  • Make Halloween decorations.
  • Go trick or treating!
  • Make fresh tortillas.
  • Make homemade play dough.
  • Make stovetop popcorn.
  • Pick apples.
  • Bake apple pie.
  • Drink apple cider.
  • Make caramel apples.
  • Pick out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.
  • Give pumpkins a bath.
  • Carve, decorate and/or paint pumpkins.
  • Bake pumpkin bread. 
  • Roast pumpkin seeds.
  • Roast s’mores.

Be Prepared – First Aid Kit Checklist

Do you have a first aid kit in your home? In your car? I didn’t until just recently, when I realized it’s better to have it around and not need it, than need it and not have it around!

As a starter, I purchased this one, and I will be purchasing another one for my car. If I need anything that isn’t included in this kit I can always purchase it to fill in the blanks, but what does a first aid kit ultimately need and why?

The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

P.S. I did not create this infographic. If the creator contacts me I can credit them properly!
  • Emergency First Aid guide 
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approx. 1 gram each)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 breathing barrier
  • 1 emergency blanket
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of non-latex gloves
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approx. 1 gram each) 
  • 1 gauze roll bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide) 
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)  
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers

You can increase the numbers of each item if you have a family of larger than 4 or as you see the need. It is also recommended to include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers or other items your health-care provider may suggest.

As I educate myself more on being prepared, I will update or redo this post with any updates!

Traditional and Modern Anniversary Gift Ideas by Year

My husband and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage, 10 years! It’s hard to wrap our minds around it because it really feels like hardly any time has passed; we are happy!

The concept of anniversary gift themes by year is super fun and engaging! We’ve gotten a bit distracted the past few years and forgot to follow the list, but what a perfect anniversary to pick it back up again!

If you aren’t familiar with the anniversary gift themes, I’ve created a handy dandy list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts by year, along with a bonus of flowers by year too! Happy anniversary and happy gifting!

Find the Time to do What you Love!

Does anyone else find it harder to carve out some game time now that you have a child? It’s ok, I’m right there with you!

It is challenging to balance providing all the love, support and attention our little ones need with mommy time and/or daddy time, but both are important. So here is my hot take: We all need a time to do what makes us happy to ensure our perpetual happiness around our children. If we are happy and treat them as such, then they will grow in the sunshine of our happiness rather than the cloudiness of our grump. Caring for our children is important, self-care is important.

Playing video games brings me joy and eventually I would love to share that joy with my daughter. Currently she shows some interest, but she’s not quite there yet, so I mostly carve out time to play while she’s sleeping. I wake up early, I utilize her nap time and/or I stay up after her bedtime. There are other things I need to get done too, but If I have the time I will play. I finish games at a much slower pace now, but that’s alright! It all sparks joy!

What brings you joy? When do you find the time to do what you love?

Our New Christmas Family Tradition

Charlie Brown Chrismas Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Christmas tradition:

The Friday before Christmas we will make our own marshmallows and hot chocolate, then sip it while we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Our New Thanksgiving Family Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Thanksgiving tradition:

The Friday before Thanksgiving we will gather and/or create buttered toast, popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans, all the food the kid’s feast on in Thanksgiving Charlie Brown. We will snack on these treats while we watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Our New Halloween Family Tradition

Halloween Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Halloween tradition:

The night before Halloween (or a few nights before), we will carve our pumpkins and light them for the first time. After, we’ll sip on cold or warm apple cider (depending on the weather) and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Homemade Apple Cider
INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! Autumn is my favorite season and while pumpkin spice has its charms, I prefer apple cider!

My family and I are starting a new Halloween tradition this year that includes drinking apple cider (check back on Friday for more details) and I thought it would be special to create our own!

Please feel free to use this recipe to create some delicious apple cider for you and yours! This cider is sweet and spiced; I used all Honeycrisp apples, but you can experiment with the combination of apples to change the flavor!

Homemade Apple Cider
HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 medium apples, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cloves
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • Water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the apples, cinnamon, cloves and sugar into a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the apples.
  • Cover the crockpot and cook the contents on low for 6 hours.
  • Once the 6 hours have passed, use a spoon to gently crush the apples, then allow them to cook for 1 more hour.
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.
  • Slowly ladle and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher, then strain it a second time; discard the solids.
  • Enjoy warm or cold!

Happy 8 Year Wedding Anniversary!

Every year, Cameron and I always find it hard to believe we have been married for five years, six years, seven years! This year we’ve been married 8 years and it’s still hard to believe! It’s not that we’re in total shock or disbelief that we lasted this long, it’s more that we can’t believe how fast the time has flown by.

Cameron and I are just right for one another and I am grateful every day that we found each other instead of settling for less. We love one another, we have fun together, we give each other space for our friends and hobbies, and we never fight. Oh sure we get a little irritable from time to time, more-so when we’re hungry or tired, but we’ve never had a fight and for that I am thankful.

Last August, we welcomed our first baby, Zoey. I have heard horror stories of how babies can be a real strain on a couple’s relationship, but we’ve squashed that stigma too. We support one another in raising her; we trade off feeding her, changing her diapers, we comfort her together, we’re united.

The moral of my story is that being with someone doesn’t have to be hard; if it’s right, it’s right. It should come naturally being in your person’s presence and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.